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Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  252 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Pays tribute to grassroots activists, including students who were barred from performing a play inspired by the experiences of Iraq War soldiers, and African-American residents who fought racism and City Hall to reclaim their homes in New Orleans.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by Hyperion (first published 2008)
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Jul 30, 2015 Paige rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! (and her brother) tell the stories of people taking a stand on crucial political issues, often against a huge well-oiled machine. For instance, some of the stories covered are a couple of public librarians against the FBI and a few low ranking Marines taking on the military industrial complex. Not only do the authors interview these “ordinary heroes,” but they give a good amount of information on the political backdrop the actions took place in; we don ...more
Aug 30, 2009 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful and inspirational book about the real heroes in America, mostly people you never heard of. The most interesting story to me was the one about the 4 librarians in Connecticut who launched a civil liberties lawsuit against the American government and the FBI, when they were served with a "demand" for library records to show who was reading what books and what sites each individual was checking out on the library computers. As an attorney, i found it fascinating that the America ...more
Feb 15, 2009 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Adam by: Shelly
The title summarizes the book well. “Standing Up to the Madness” paints portraits of individuals who are resisting oppression, usually by the State. Given that these are stories covered by Democracy Now! Radio, it's not surprising that these strike me as being better as radio segments. While the stories are powerful as written, I bet they are more powerful heard in these “ordinary” people's voices. The writing is not particularly strong, but the stories are very compelling, and totally enraging. ...more
Jun 28, 2009 Patti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that makes you proud of the Americans who stand up and say "No! No more, things have to change." Many of the people who are profiled in this book did not set out to take a stand, they made that decision on the fly and made a difference.

My favorite section is the one about the students at Wilton High School who were putting on a play, "Voices in Conflict" featuring the words of Iraq War Veterans. They had previously done plays that dealt with graphic sex, homosexuality, and violenc
Nov 28, 2011 Sabiel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-non-fiction
Although some of these essays are a little repetitive, two of them are *so* good that it is worth getting the book just to read them. One is the story of the students at Wilton High School who battled a scarily pro-Bush Administration censorious regime at their own high school in order to put on a play that was not even anti-war, but merely used soldiers' own first-person narratives to convey the brutal reality of wartime.

The second, equally stellar essay profiles heroic librarians [also in Conn
Timothy Riley
Amy Goodman rocks the party that rocks my seriously, these were some great stories of common Americans that aren't blinded by the b.s. that this government forces down our throats. The chapter about the objectors to war was great-I am thinking very few service people know about it. The chapter on the Jena-6 PROVES that not much has changed since the Civil Rights movement in the dirty south. Trayvon Martin's murder is just another example. Would any town watch person in an all-black com ...more
Jun 25, 2013 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a long-time admirer of Amy Goodman and "Democracy Now" I found these stories of integrity and bravery to be uplifting and hope-inspiring. Of particular interest, given the current issue with Edward Snowden, was Chapter 3: "Librarians Unbound". Looks like they were ahead of the game on what was going on under the Orwellian "PATRIOT" (Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism) Act.

As more media are owned by fewer and fe
Pam Rasmussen
If you listen to Democracy Now religiously like I do, then this book doesn't add much, since it's mainly a collection of her reporting around a theme. But she does add a little more detail, and offers a very inspiring closing chapter that offers lessons and hope for everyone.
Sep 20, 2012 Aubrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspirational stories of regular people and communities engaging in political organization and action: librarians, soldiers, the homeless, youth, etc.
Jan 30, 2013 Connie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Real life stories of people who stood up to injustice and changed their part of the world
Dec 22, 2009 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspirational read. Amy Goodman is great as always.
David Gross
The brother & sister team of progressive journalists Amy Goodman and David Goodman have collected several stories of people who came face to face with some of the evils of the Dubya Squad years but who made the sadly rare but always heartening decision to not take it lying down. They tell these stories in Standing Up to the Madness.

Over the course of the book, team Goodman tell us

* how the Common Ground Relief group got organized and fought back when the government tried to piggy-back an et
Alex Telander
Jun 06, 2008 Alex Telander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
STANDING UP TO THE MADNESS BY AMY GOODMAN AND DAVID GOODMAN: The award-winning and bestselling brother and sister team Amy Goodman (popular and successful host of the TV and radio show Democracy Now!) and David Goodman (an investigative journalist), authors of Static and Exception to the Rulers return with Standing Up to the Madness. The Goodmans strike out on a new path in, aiming to not retread on the familiar ground of endlessly criticizing the Bush administration and its endeavors, but to re ...more
Paul Ivanov
Jun 19, 2009 Paul Ivanov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
My labmate Tim sent me an email on Wednesday (April 15th) saying that Amy Goodman “Democracy Now! fame, and my heroin” [sic:] was speaking on campus at noon. The place was packed, and it’s the best way I could have imagined to snap back out of the Qualifying Exam bubble I’ve spent the last several months in, and re-engage with the world at large.

One of the excuses for the tour is the paperback release of Standing up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times by Amy and David Goodman.
Mar 05, 2010 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice a brief read, but a little too brief. Although Goodman sets up some really great examples of standing up for Democracy, there were too many stories that just didn't get me motivated enough to make changes. There was one story about the Jena Six, a group of African-American high school students who were imprisoned and wrongfully charged for their actions, that Goodman seemed to have stumbled on. I agree that the civil rights laws were breached in order to incarcerate these kids, but I do n ...more
Real Supergirl
Aug 25, 2010 Real Supergirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
An easy, quick read. Was hoping it would be a little less depressing. It tries to be hopeful and encouraging, by structuring itself around activists who have stood up against global warming deniers, racists, censors, the military-industrial complex...but a couple of the battles were such uphill battles that reading about their description proved to be more depressing than encouraging. Still, an important read.

The best sections, IMO, are about the librarians who took on the Patriot Act, the Conn
Jan 26, 2011 Audrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I should have read this book three years ago when it first came out (it largely focuses on issues during the Bush administration). But regardless of being a few years behind, I found the book an intriguing and engaging read. It includes inspiring stories of individuals who started grassroot movements to support causes they strongly believed in (whether that was standing behind the science supporting global warming, the treamtment of survivors in New Orleans after Catrina, protecting people's pri ...more
May 06, 2009 Juju rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With the news raining disaster all around us it's refreshing to read this awesome collection of true stories about courageous everyday people. The stories presented here address mostly current concerns. From the Common Ground Relief organization in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans which grew out of government incompetence and indifference to the disillusioned soldiers who drafted the Appeal for Redress as an effort to give a voice to the voiceless in the military, these are all excellent exam ...more
Jul 28, 2010 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, I'd highly recommend it to anyone... unfortunately though many people would never read it, it's a bit too political for some people. My only critique is there is some parts that I wish were longer (because I was so wrapped up in the real life stories being told) and there were some instances where (in the interest of being thorough) they had a little too much of a full transcript from court cases, and I understand why they did this... but it can be a bit dry and tedious to read throu ...more
Madonna Analla
Aug 30, 2016 Madonna Analla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book to read at this time of election year because a lot of the stories involve politics and people in government power. It was inspiring but also scary since it pointed out the consequences at first of standing up to power. Eventually triumphs happen but they take time and people to turn the tide and get support for causes. But support came and policies are changing, people are rebuilding, and this book took away some of the hopelessness I was feeling while watching current eve ...more
Toni Tabora-Roberts
May 05, 2009 Toni Tabora-Roberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: activist, everyone
Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman and her journalist brother David Goodman present a range of inspiring stories (covering everything from Hurricane Katrina to librarians taking a stand against the patriot act to conspiracies to hide the truth about global warming) about everyday folks and their heroic stories of activism and action. With government power at a seemingly all time high and with big corporate media seemingly complicit or too ignorant, these kinds of stories need to be heard so people kee ...more
Sep 18, 2008 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was certainly inspiring and eye-opening. I think that it's important to read it with a little bit of discretion, however, because it's clearly written in support of one side of the argument. Anyway, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a something to restore their hope in "people power", oh, and to restore their fear of the government, because it does that too. enjoy
Kimberly Benson
Nov 02, 2009 Kimberly Benson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book a lot. It is a fast inspiring read. I enjoyed the part about the White Rose:"We will not be silent. We are your guilty conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace!" written during Nazi Germany. Any to tie it to today- there is a contemporary campaign will shirts that say "We will not be silent" in both english and arabic.
Mar 10, 2009 Tehnle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book actually made me cry a few times, especially the tale about the librarian who stood up to the FBI. These are stories of heroic gumption during a scary time when our rights as Americans were being trampled. I am almost gloating over the fact that I can write about the George W era in the past tense. :-)
Mar 02, 2009 Hamad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terrific compilation of true activist stories by the Goodmans. There is considerable insight provided by the authors around these fights of courage between ordinary Americans and their repressive government and institutions. A must read for community-organizers, grassroots activists and all citizens.
Dec 02, 2009 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amy Goodman is such a badass. I'm a regular listener of Democracy Now! so none of these stories really surprised me, but they did make me feel woe for the world and wish that everyone listened to Amy Goodman: She's an American hero, and so are the people she discusses in this book.
Jul 06, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
Wow! This book is filled with inspirational stories of ordinary people who had true moral courage and took a stand for what they believed in - who stood up to the madness. It gives you hope for the future.
Apr 07, 2011 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carol by: Mya A.
Shelves: covergirls, politics
Enlightening book. The book describes many disturbing events of the presidential administrations (mostly George W. Bush). Topics include: Rosa Parks, Hurricane Katrina, Global Warming, USA Patriot Act, Iraq War.

Apr 22, 2010 Libby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
more simplistic than i would have liked/expected, but a great bus read in terms of size/weight/readability.

i have got to read more critique of post-Katrina reforms in NOLA - esp in education.
Apr 09, 2009 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Those Goodmans, they are so cool. One group of ordinary heroes was a few public librarians .... whats not to like?
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Amy Goodman is an American broadcast journalist, syndicated columnist and author.

A 1984 graduate of Harvard University, Goodman is best known as the principal host of Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now! program, where she has been described by the Los Angeles Times as "radio's voice of the disenfranchised left". Coverage of the peace and human rights movements — and support of the independent media —
More about Amy Goodman...

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